Edward D. Pare served as the superintendent of banking for the R.I. Department of Business Regulation from 1991-1998, while concurrently serving as the superintendent of the Securities Division from 1996-1997.
Now a partner in the Providence-based firm Brown Rudnick, he provides business and legal advice to clients in the telecommunications, real estate, financial services and gaming industries. His expertise includes preparing and presenting applications and filings on behalf of telecommunication companies to governmental and regulatory agencies. He has helped develop more than 1,500 telecommunications facilities throughout New England.
He sees the telecommunications field as a relatively new industry that is rapidly expanding, constantly changing and highly competitive.
PBN: What’s the origin of the recent telecommunications boom?
PARE: This industry has developed, as Congress anticipated it would, when they enacted the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 that enabled the industry to provide service coverage. The whole idea was to spawn an industry and an economic driver called wireless. Tower companies have developed and expanded over time and there are always investors looking for opportunities.
PBN: What is the relationship between the telephone companies – carriers – and the towers?
PARE: The carriers can propose two types of tower models. In one, they will propose to construct the tower then lease space on it to others. However, they are really looking to provide a good service and keep customers happy, so owning and renting space on towers is more of an ancillary business. Many times there are other companies that will step in and take that piece of the business.
PBN: Carriers are advertising improvements such as 4G. How has this affected local coverage?
PARE: The 4G is really a speed issue, the rate of the data that can be sent, and if it reaches a certain threshold it’s considered a 4G network. Lately, you’ll see that there’s been discussion about long-term evolution (LTE), which is really an enhanced 4G. Generally, AT&T and Verizon have been upgrading their networks and pushing LTE throughout New England. That seems to be the next wave right now, to provide high-speed LTE service to all of these gadgets, not just phones or smartphones, but computers as well.